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Josh Margolin; Ted Sherman Education. (2011) Josh Margolin; Ted Sherman. ('The Jersey Sting A True Story of Crooked Pols, Money-Launder...')




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U.s. 15, Solomon Dwek 13, Christie 12, Us 10, Michael Critchley 9, Joe Doria 9, Dwek 5, Fbi 5, Jon Corzine 5, Hoboken 5, Jersey City 5, Daniel Van Pelt 4, Fischman 4, Sarah Weinman 4, Manzo 4, David Esenbach 4, Najafi 3, Corzine 3, Chris Christie 3, Cardwell 3,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Josh Margolin; Ted Sherman  Education.  (2011) Josh  
   Margolin; Ted Sherman. ('The Jersey Sting A True Story of Crooked...  

    July 25, 2011
    6:30 - 8:00am EDT  

>> a small fraction of that has been entered into evidence. we have sources who are allowed us access to unsealed material at their own professional power. in terms of your point that the feds let us see it, i would love to be able to respond to that directly but i can't limit the universe of potential sources out there for fear that i might
outsource accidentally. let's just say that fishman was insistent that nobody under his authority would cooperate with us. >> fair enough. after maybe a dozen money laundering rabbi types, the case shifts into the political realm, starting with low-level operators and working upwards. how high does it get? >> it got all the way up to governor corzine's cabinet. but you're right, it started very low and that was because it basically was a chain. he had to go from person who knew the next person who knew the next person. >> he worked at this pretty feverishly? >> absolutely. >> everyday? >> not only everyday but what we did at one point was we took all of the criminal complaint that
hadn't been released and put it into a database and made ourselves a little chronological timeline to see what he was doing. and it just blew our minds at one point where we are seeing he is meeting five, six people on the same day going from williamsburg going to brooklyn, back and forth, back and forth. >> he started one day i think early afternoon with meetings, and within a couple of hours it seems like sometimes the park we had gotten compressed in his day. he wound up in jersey city having a meeting what is getting another bad guy. i'm not going to talk about how fast i tried to do. are there any cops in the room? all right then, i didn't say that. >> when he's getting with those types he is solomon dwek, when
he is dealing with political types he a dobson is, david esenbach. >> correct. >> he has got 15 or 20 political people to accept fedex envelopes stuffed with $10,000 in cash before you write. somebody googles david esenbach, and there is no david esenbach. the other 15 or 20 didn't google him? >> the guy that googled and came to book signings lastly. this guy is really happy. >> he googled him and when nothing turned up be figured out -- >> this is close to the end. yeah, it was extraordinary to us. the book has a little bit of humor in it -- >> a lot of humor. >> part of it is our commenting or analyzing areas anecdotes, because where to put ourselves
in the readers you a little bit which is something we can't do in the newspaper every day. we need to show you that yeah, we can't believe this either. and we couldn't believe this at various points. so yes, dwek has brought more than 25 people into various bribery related political on this case. three days before the arrests are going to take place, finally the former president of the zoning board in gothenburg says, you know what, he's talking weird. he was complained the guy was talking weird, talking weird and talking fast. none of what he's saying really make sense. who is david esenbach? any sits down in his office and he googled him and he finds nothing. and he says to himself, you know what, i'm not going to that meeting tomorrow. at this point dwek has put himself forward to these
political types as a mega developer. the kind of guy who is a gulfstream waiting in cedarburg. the kind of guy who can by 600 mobile acts i and gas stations in one transaction because mobil exxon need to do that some of his holdings because of a merger. the kind of guy who, you know, who just jets around the world and puts up or would put up a 40 story building on a chromium dump along the turnpike extension in jersey city spirit and nobody ever questioned. >> and no one question. so he says if this guy is who he says he is and i can't find one reference to him on google, this is a meeting i'm going to take a pass. >> that's a long list. the higher-ups. >> the mayor of hoboken, 23 days in office. >> and he took more than he was even charged with spirit and also went back for more. >> correct.
>> weight. that raises an issue i've always had about some of these things. he took cash, fedex envelopes, for his campaign. is that the same thing as taking it for your pocket? the deputy mayor of jersey city, the former for must wean who is now in her '70s, she took money but it was for the mayor's campaign of which she was the treasurer. to my way of thinking that's a little us venal than taking it to put in your bank account. >> doing "the jersey sting" we don't hold ourselves out as scholars of jewish law or a source of jewish law or federal criminal statutes, and it's important because we understand the distinction you're drawing. the law doesn't draw that distinction. as we lay out, what he was
doing, he was putting money in his pocket because what happened was, and any of you, i'm not enough, not fluent enough with the local paul -- politics here, but in hudson county yet this proliferation of municipality and nonpartisan elections. as nonpartisan elections automatically, free-for-alls a big communities, bigger community in hudson county even more of a freefall than that. it winds up for a number of different reasons coming very expensive. cammarata was in a very, very expensive political environment. three council members each with followers, running in hoboken for the mayor's office. for a vacant mayors spot. mayor roberts was not seeking reelection. so you have this free for all. if nobody wins a clear majority,
yet a runoff election three weeks or four weeks later. between the two top vote getters. cammarano squeaks by, he gets into a runoff. so now he has one really expensive crazy election, and in the second really expensive crazy election pick any basically starts emptying his bank account. he start trying all sorts of checks out of his own pocket to cover expenses. cookie store trisomy checks on his campaign account that first he runs out of money to cover the checks. then he runs out of checks. he literally ran out of checks in the checkbook to pay street workers to put them over the topic and in the end he went by, i'm so i don't have a number, he hand small full of votes in a town -- the city of hoboken. so the money that he is taking in bribes, at least a portion of it, is to cover his expenses that he had. checks he wrote that he couldn't
cash. >> you say the law doesn't distinguish. i once had a conversation with chris christie when he was u.s. attorney, he busted somebody, i don't member who, maybe it was the ethics county executive who had also taken some money for his campaign. and i said isn't it different when it's for the campaign that what goes into your pocket? and he said absolutely not. it's all for yourself, whether it's to spend or enhance your statute in community spirit it's funny because with cammarano come within 24 hours of the arrest, this is july 24, 2009, cammarano ours were the highest profilers in new jersey represented jason williams and a number of other high profile clients. within 24 hours of his arrest hayden is out there spending the story. it's not for peter. it's for the campaign. he does this and so i take that back. you how reporters are, we go to
one side of history and get a, and go to the outside and get a. the feds are laughing at me on the phone. let me go to try with that defense, gray. for the exact same reason you just said. >> so two members of the state assembly, l. harvey smith and daniel van pelt are ensnared in this. a number of officials in jersey city -- how many mayors? >> three mayors. >> three mayors, a bunch of deputy mayors and operatives. council president of jersey city. 44 people in all are rounded up one morning of july 23, 2009. which is right in the midst of the governors race. jon corzine is running for reelection against chris christie who had resigned in early january of that year, or maybe it was early december of
that year. and he announced in early february, we all knew when he resigned that he was going to run for governor. so, there are a lot of people who think that the timing of the culmination of this to a three-year sting had a political taint to it, or political motive behind it. i know we're not going to answer that question definitively, but what -- one of the arguments onn the other side for whether this was politically motivated? >> the arguments against it would be, one of the arguments against it would be that the head of special prosecutions was a man by the name of jimmy who, in the u.s. attorney's office, if anything like that were going on on his watch, he would probably arrest himself. that's how ethical he views
these things. and effect it affected the case because he actually was come he recuse himself a week before the arrest came down because he got a job proposal just before the arrests happened. and his absence in the case affected a lot of what went wrong with the case later on. >> i notice at the end of the book you have them back in u.s. attorney's office. did he leave her comeback? >> he just left the case. >> when we start the process of researching and writing "the jersey sting," it was shortly after the governor's election. so the arrests happened july of '09, christie wins the first week of november '09, we start our process the end of december '09. and we finished seven months later. ted and i like reporting any invest a piece of news.
no, we have no idea where the story was going to take us. we knew the beginning, we knew the ending because it happened. but we didn't know where the road was going to take us along the way. we did not there were certain questions we need to tackle. one of them was the politics. we needed to at least be able to get to a point of understanding the timing of the bus. >> the accusations were flying left and right very, very quickly. >> and everybody heard him. and, in fact, the accusations continued as he read through the book, you still see that there still some lingering hostility over the issue. not from governor corzine, interestingly. he does not believe it was political. but other people do. so the pro-corzine spent for lack of a better term, was that the feds were beholden to chris, they all got promoted by chris. they all loved chris, that they timed this in the middle of the
election because this would highlight christies background as a corruption busting super prosecutor, and do it make the election about that and about christie's corruption history, or corruption fighting history, more than about anything else. and in the process it would also damage the democratic party because they hate republicans but they really hit democrats. that's the spent. just basically, if you see that, if the ground is wet outside it must have rain. >> joe doria plays into that, former speaker of the assembly, a prominent democrat who had joined the corzine's cabin or as commissioner of affairs, and you did or did not get a raw deal out of this whole thing. >> we don't answer the question intentionally, and we are glad that we are not required to answer that question because it really is a matter of
perspective on joe doria. and we lay out exactly what happened to. but joe george who it was a member of the governor's cabinet, he was not arrested, not charge, but his home and office were searched. it turns out that one of the bad men had advertised that he was on the take, and had gotten tranforty passing $40,000 in marked money come in the advertised that he would then pass that money off to joe doria. there's never been any proof that joe doria took any of that money can give some of it is missing, joe doria is not in charge charged and defensive the case continues. but the elements of joe doria being brought in, that has to democrats pro-corzine spend that this is all done to damage corzine because they didn't -- >> the media was very present at joe doria some at at the department of community when they're being searched? >> right. the corzine people say it must be that the feds and the
christie people tipped off the reporters because they were all there. that is a fallacy. let me tell you this. every newsroom worth its salt anywhere in the country has either scanners or pager services to find what's going on with the police. joe doria's house was a circus that morning. they owned cops are taking the scenes as teams of fbi agents swarmed the house, even if the reporters have not been tipped, i know i personally wasn't but even if they hadn't been tipped -- >> if you want maybe nobody was. >> it would've taken five minutes for the jersey journal and the hudson reporter and the newark "star-ledger" which is only five minutes away to watch the search. and the search went on all day. so the christie span in this, the federal government doesn't work this way. we don't conspire up damaged candidate or a campaigned. cases are taken and when they're taking down. and this case was basically an
armed invasion of the metro a with more than 300 irs and fbi agents, a dozen prosecutors. you don't just do that on win based on some political date on the calendar. and the most overarching piece of evidence, the pro-christy and pro-u.s. attorney's office people say is you need to go inside and understand why it was timed that way, what was going on in the investigation, look at the investigation. and so, in the jersey stained, actually dissect the investigation to be able to explain exactly what is happening in terms of speed is one of the links you point out is a federal judge in trenton who is overseeing dwek's bankruptcy was pounding on yesterday's office to wrap this up so that she could do what? >> sheet, in a bankruptcy case, the critters in the case wanted to depose dwek. u.s. attorney's office kept on
trying to put that off because once he was deposed everything would come out because he couldn't lie. so there was that pressure spent what are the pressures, to do when they did it that would suggest it was not at all political? >> the pressure of the fact that those in the u.s. attorney coming in, paul fishman, and nobody knew what was going to happen and he did come in. so there was some internal push to get this case done before he came into office. >> that is political but it is just not corzine/christie political. >> i have heard before you've written and unwritten rule in u.s. attorney office that you don't do a political arrest or indictment within 60 days of an election? >> that's the practice here in new jersey specs of this was about 70 days, more like 100
days. >> this goes into a ted said about this issue. so in the u.s. so in u.s. attorney's office you of all the competing pressures right now. take yourself back in time to july of '09. bankruptcy judge has said that we know more continuances or delays. dwek is being depose. ralph, i'm sorry, i don't care. she literally says that to him. she calls him to his and threatens him, like going to the principals office. then on top of that, he knows his window is closing. fischman can be confirmed at any moment. merit once the case to be done under his watch like anybody would but more importantly, fischman, fischman tells us on the record, and but, fischman is at the very least a conscientious thoughtful guy. is not going to come in one day and then say, go arrest anybody tomorrow. he's going to want to press more book is going to want to review the docs reduce some of the evidence. he might decide to do the arrest. he might decide not to do the
arrest. but it would've put them within the 60 day window before the election and they would not allow the. >> wasn't there also a plot picking on dwek's cover being blown? >> there was always fear that his cover was going to be blown because he was always, always going beyond the bounds of what he was supposed to be doing. >> how so? >> he was scripted. all the time he was scripted. >> did the fbi -- >> rehearses him. but he never followed the script. there were times when you go to a politician and he would tell them, i'm not a member of the democrat party, i'm not a member of the republican party, i'm a member of the green party green, get it? like cash. and he would look at him until okay. that was in the script. the fbi is looking at this after they came back to the office and like shaking their heads. this guy is a rogue canon.
it was legitimate fear in the office. and at some point he was going to blow it. >> so i can see a pretty good case for the christie point of view that this was, that these were external, non-political forces that cause this to happen. but when it happened, and by the way, we are going to open this up to you all for questions in about five minutes, when it happened, you write, jon corzine knew he was going to lose the election. >> right. >> you also write something i never heard before was that nine months earlier all his aides told and is going to lose elections we shouldn't run for reelection, except he didn't agree with them suspect it was probably for me one of the most remarkable series of interviews i have ever conducted. i mean, i have had the honor of
covering governors, even a couple of presidents, but to get this deep inside, find out exactly what had gone on, which is so contradictory to everything were. >> guest: seek as political reporters. the rule of politics is both guys, women, whatever say they're going to win. they believe with her whole heart. i'm going to win because blah, blah, blah. the other guy says the same thing. no, election night someone loses. always surprising, but we had in the back all the time. that's not the case he. corzine walked into this election in 2009, he was the only voice of his inner circle who thought he even had a fighting chance spirit at what point, january, february? >> i don't remember the exact time. there were two critical meetings that occurred at his business partners luxury apartment in manhattan. one meaning is around the time of the conventions in '08, in august, september.
forgive me if that fact is off. but what happens is they gather and they go around the table, and everybody is unanimous that he can win. it would be a tough slaw. we can probably face the christie. christie is formidable but it's going to be okay and the governor has got unlimited resources and jon corzine is a really good guy and people have a greater affinity for them. that's their stand inside. shortly after that they have the economic collapse. his polls were falling like a rock. he had months and months of bad news. so they reconvene, december, january. and around the table again. they all say do not run this race, you will lose.
>> funny because there's a wonderful story in new jersey political lore about brendan byrne in 1977 at around the same time after he created the state income tax and all of his advisers said you're going to lose, except one, his attorney general he would become his attorney general the second term. is that i think you can win reelection. and, of course, we not brendan byrne did. but similar kind of how well -- powwow. >> understand the psychology of jon corzine. in addition to governor christie giving us considerable access to this research, governor corzine gave us tremendous time and access and assistance. he provided people from his staff to help answer questions about times, dates and places. really remarkable. we give them both credit in the book. taking politics aside for a second, they gave us a level of
access of detail and context that didn't necessary serve a flattering picture of you one of them 100%. they were helpful for this process. corzine is a guy who believes in himself completely. even when no one else believes in him. you know that. there are people in the room of work for him who were with them. and he just had this blind faith in his own ability, that come what may, people trust me because i'm trustworthy. and i'm a good guy and my heart is in the right place. that's it. the polls said he was wrong, way wrong. this is not in the book because we had to edit some stuff out. he had different pollsters and he insisted on going to different pollsters, if they kept giving him bad news he would switch pollsters to get in better news and the object element he would lose. at some level just the pain it must've been for for this man, everyone saying he's going to lose to run this, but finally come to life excitement of the
back story, jon corzine is wealthy, has a beautiful place on the hoboken waterfront, beautifully appointed, floor to ceiling views of the empire state building, he is woken up by his aide. there are arrests happen. one of the people arrested is arrested in is very good and hoboken. so they are doing arrests in his building. people he is shaking hands with, hugged in public, given donations to are being arrested. he is woken up and told don't answer the phone. he gives up and he is standing in front of a flatscreen tv on one side with the views of new york on the other side, and he is coming to the conclusion, sitting in a pit of of the stomach that was, this is done. i've lost this race. these are my friend. these are my party. >> is that why he lost? >> he doesn't think so. he thinks he lost because the economy was bad, unemployment
was terrible, and he thinks that people were just tired spirit of him? >> of him. they wanted a change. >> anybody in the room want to ask these guys a question? yeah. [inaudible] hang on one second to weaken are you better. >> i just finished up the book. i also follow the story quite a bit when it first came out. i read all the criminal charges, watched a lot of the videos. and my impression that certainly a lot of these guys were convicted and charged are guilty as can be. but i can't help but see a few what it looks like they really were sort of pushed into saying things they didn't really say or
mean the way it came off. and for some of them like joe doria, maybe soar as in richfield park, it seems like the feds were overzealous. like once they got, you know, their teeth into it they weren't going to let go. did you come away with that impression at all? you have seen a lot more evidence that i have. but some of them, just a few of them it looked like they really probably to me at least were not guilty. did you get that impression at all? >> wes could spin a story and he just, defense attorneys when they first saw some of these videos were just in credulous. he never shut up, even when people try to walk away. he never shut up. and in the case of l. harvey smith who was acquitted finally, he was saying some very damning
things on the videotapes. at one point he tells dwek stop talking, stopped talking. i feel like i ought to pat you down your yet the jury saw the rest of these videotapes and came to the same conclusion, i guess that you did, that there was a lot of talking going on. >> you actually do see not on some of the weaknesses of the cases. you actually see confusion and back biting and internal feuding inside the u.s. attorney's office. and ted and i, first of all, we had to finish the book and sent to the publisher before some of these other cases collapsed. we'll have time to get sworn in as his acquittal into the epilogue but there was one of the political defendants he had, richard green, at all charges dismissed after most of the u.s. attorney's office. that's very unusual. doing at smith was acquitted at trial, and our belief is that,
like yours, some of these cases were very, very solid. and it in fact most of them. there were some instances when the fbi and u.s. attorney's office, their eyes were bigger than the stomach. they're trying to run up the score and they are paying the price now. >> if i can respond to your question, there's an element of come in their account of this case that suggests that the prosecutors were engaged in big game hunting. i think you may even use that phrase at some point, or something close to it. it really comes across as a game for them, and the bigger the target, the better the score, the better they feel. and so i understand the basis of your question i guess is what i'm saying. yeah?
>> could you explain the situation that lou manzo created or brought to court, and the judge said that some charges should be dismissed because he was not a public official? and also in connection with that we are not like others who are in fort dix prison. also not public officials. >> lou manzo situation as it were some of the cases were bad. the u.s. attorney's office was acting when they charged people are running but not in office, they were working under the legal theory that the law that applies to bribery of a public official applies to somebody who's running for the office. so as if you are already in office i running. manzo decide he was going to fight that saying you can't apply to a private citizen the law that bans bribery for a
public official, even if i'm running for the office. and it turns out that the judge overseeing these cases agreed with him. the court of appeals in philadelphia agreed with the judge, and the u.s. attorney's office that does not know what it's going to do. manzo has been indicted on additional charges, and even if they threw out all these charges, the feds are still going to take manzo to try. but the biggest charges he is facing me will get thrown out but we don't know the end of that story yet. >> well, petrillo was a public official. that doesn't apply spent and phil kenney i believe is also i can -- campaign treasurer for one of the other candidates. if they have you a government office, that's how they can use that law that way. but the manzo thing is really complicated. and the manzo thing happens because the other piece of this. remember the whole story with rudy giuliani win number of his high profile cases were thrown out on appeal after he left the
7:32am attorney's office in manhattan because they were flawed cases. manzo, his case is airtight. is the law that is questionable right now. >> somebody else? bill gormley. we forgot about say on the microphone. >> everyone would like to hear about the body parts laughed that spirit we forgot that aspect spent probably the strangest element of this entire sordid case. and we didn't learn the truth about this until the very late in the reporting process. for those of you don't know about the body parts, there was an individual who was arrested for brokering a human kidney. and this actually is the first case ever brought under u.s. law for brokering a human organ.
the law is so old actually, it was written by a young congressman by the name of al gore. and has never been tested in court. and in this particular case, dwek with an fbi agent posing as his secretary arranged for a transplant to occur, using a fictitious angle of his secretary. never ask a complete the transaction but they arranged for a. we couldn't figure out how this into anything. it wasn't a political correction angle. it certainly wasn't my laundry. how could dwek get involved with this? there was also speculation that use them because he was a member of the syrian community and possibly he had and in there. of the truth of the matter is, is we've had much later, dwek's
own grandfather had arranged for a kidney transplant through this broker so he had knowledge of this. and as long as they're going for the ride, they threw this into the mix as well. >> in 2008 a kid and went for $160,000. >> not including installation. [laughter] >> parts only. parts and labor spent and it does only gets 10,000 of that. >> daniel van pelt was a young assembly when, on about how young was. he was a new assembly meant when all this happen. he got caught up in it and you write that he, too, had a kidney problem and that might of been something that he and dwek talked about? >> this one is -- this was one of the great moments. this is the great almost crashing his own investigation because solomon dwek is the
solomon dwek in a kidney and money to assure when he goes to me the politician. so he is meeting with daniel van pelt, the assembly meant, talking about brides and david esenbach. >> then he starts talking about kidneys because daniel van pelt had a kidney from. and he starts talking about his grandfather eating this kidney, and gives this long song and dance in a diner one bit about why kidney. but you can't mix the two kidneys because he started going down this path suddenly, suddenly solomon dwek will come face-to-face with david esenbach and it's not going to be pretty. >> who else? here and been up there. >> congratulations on this great book, it's fantastic. i'm curious coming are both writers to give rittenberg
newspapers, magazines but is this a different experience writing a book? what i'm getting at, it's more than a long story with no workout but is there a different process? >> it was for me, but bear in mind we started this process writing for a newspaper. a lot of what we were riding the. in the newspaper as news stories. and as the narrative of that, we decide to write a book on it was a different type of writing. typical newspaper writing is, you are taught in journalism school, all information goes at the top and the story narrows down lower and lower to the point where people might start reading after a while. the book doesn't follow that type of construction. for both of us it was kind of a
new freedom force. >> ted and i have worked together for a number of years. we did a number of projects together at the "star-ledger" and other stories with a faster tournament. i remember when we got into this and would buy the got the book you, obviously the old cliché, it's a cliché because it's true of a newspaper reporters wanting to get a book deal. so we were euphoric over a. and i've been calling ted one night and walking to a pizza joint one day and saying do we know how to write a book? and he said yeah, we do. i said okay, we do. all right. [laughter] question answered. i also remember calling him one night on the phone and telling him -- i didn't have writer's block i was always trained in journalism school is not possible to have writer's block. the cure for writer's block is writing. but i just didn't know where to start or how to begin something or how to begin the process.
i called ted at home and he said just start writing. and i get. and i found it really, really fun and liberating because for so many years we were used to a daily deadline. we were used to make set a cap, even it's an important story and a long story, you know you're not going to write 7000 words on it. 7000 words, you start getting into entire sections of newspaper. a long story for the "star-ledger" would be 2000 words. the book is 155,000 words. so, which is doubled by the way of what the original book deal called for. so it was liberating. i find myself at 2:00 in the morning on those nice that i can have to stay awake at the computer sandman, you know what, i haven't written like this since college since i was able to write what i want to buy, say what i wanted to say, add an
extra clause into sense and didn't have a maximum word length and didn't have an editor breathing down my back. it was cool. >> there's some wonderful rendering of the new jersey political life in the book. you deserve a lot of credit for its. >> you said that 44 people were arrested. i was just curious if all 44 were tried in different cases? and if so, was there a connection between them other than solomon dwek? >> some of them, first of all, there's only been a small number of trials. and every one of the 44 is different. the numbers change and there's a weirdness in the numbers. 44 people were charged that morning. 43 were arrested. one person had disappeared, vanished, believed to be a fugitive living in israel.
since then additional people have been arrested on charges associate with this but we are not -- were not rounded up that first day. most people have gotten involved in the process, the criminal justice process, most of them have pleaded guilty. as a just when the chief rabbi pleaded guilty, 26 have pleaded guilty. to have been acquitted at trial. three have been convicted at trial. some of these people will go to trial or would go to trial or were arrested in collective complaints or indictments. some were in single indictments that the rabbi yesterday was alone in a complaint. it's basically, there's not a good logical rhyme or reason to it except the feds tend to lump people into the same complaint or indictments if there been charged charged with the same crimes on the same instances of criminal activity. so if you do not hold up the
same liquor store we're going to be charged together. but if ted and i hold up to different liquor stores we're going to be charged separately. that's roughly what it is. and the case has two tributaries. you have the bigger one with the more defendants on the political side. that's what you see david esenbach. the smaller side is a money laundering. you don't have any crossover. he's never, he's never both both people. just for obvious reasons. [laughter] >> josh says to people were acquitted. the first one who was acquitted was anthony suarez, the mayor. it's shocking after all these guilty pleas and convictions that somebody had gotten off. and so, it occurred to me that he would make a good guest on television. he was the first in 10 years to
be acquitted of the chris christie public corruption charge. so about a week or two after the acquittal i called him up, and we eventually hooked up and i invited him on the show. to my surprise he said he would do it. his lawyer was one of the top defense lawyers in the state, michael critchley, famous guy. i said maybe you want to come on with your lawyer. he said that would be good because i would like to get him on the show, too. i called michael critchley. he did what any part of it. he gave me 15 minutes on the phone. so the day of the interview arrived and i was really primed. i was prepared and suarez was a very unassuming boy next door type came in to the studio on time. and he said by the way, i can't talk about the case.
[laughter] i said what are we doing here then? i said, well, he said i can't talk about dwek. i'm not going to talk about dwek. i said what are you going to talk about? he said i will tell you how i felt, what effect it had on my family. so we heard a lot about his kid and his wife on the half-hour. it was kind of a bust spent two weeks ago tonight ted and i had a party in new brunswick celebrate the launch of the book. and governor christie who doesn't like missing a party, especially with a roomful of reporters, and michael critchley paid the rare appearance at the party but it was funny because i happened to be standing right there as michael critchley is behind me and christie walks in. and the two of them are
discussing, and christie, so michael critchley is saying something about, you know, i got the one, referring to the fact he got an acquittal in competition with u.s. attorney's office. and christie doesn't miss a beat and he says he would have gotten it if i were still there. [laughter] >> yes. >> the last row they pulled solomon dwek as a co-oping -- cooperating witness. what is the future? >> we have thought about this considerably. we don't believe that the feds have any fear of putting solomon dwek up on the stand. the back story is that dwek got beaten up pretty badly by michael critchley during the suarez? so for the next trial the feds use another one of the bad guys who rolled over after getting arrested. i got interesting we named it cheatham. [laughter]
so cheatham -- you can't make it up. i wrote a book, right? i told you. so cheatham, cheatham stood in for solomon dwek. dwek is a bad witness. by definition, all informants are bad witnesses. they wouldn't be called rats otherwise. they are bad witness. the way it always works, the feds try to convince the jury, don't believe the guy, a lead the video. he is not a person in this case. he's just a vessel for carrying a camera. that's roughly what it is. and, of course, the good defense lawyers, all defense lawyers tried to rough up the informant saying how can you believe this guy? he's a crook, he's a criminal. he turned on his own family. what happened we think with smith was that dwek had gotten beaten up pretty badly by michael critchley but as we said the suarez case was the weakest
of the government cases. they pinched dwek in the hopes of mixing it up a bit with cheatham. >> called an audible. >> their youtube beating up solomon dwek. michael critchley had a field day. everybody is impressed with what michael critchley didn't to dwek on the stand, no doubt about it. but in terms of the future of this case, it's just a matter of the strong cases and what the views show. and a special as you start getting into money-laundering cases now, and we don't want to, we are not taking sides. but we've seen some of this stuff and we have quoted at length in the book, and it's pretty ugly if you're hoping for an acquittal. understand the scene yesterday in trenton. 79 years old, the chief rabbi, internationally of the syrian jewish community, one of the wealthiest enclaves cul-de-sacs of organized jewish life in the
world. and he walks in to plead guilty to a federal felony. that's not because he was confident of an acquittal. >> and, in fact, two weeks ago dwek was going to testify in the trial of cardwell. and on the eve of the start of the trial cardwell pleaded guilty. >> in fact in the book we spend sometime on cardwell because he's a great, colorful character for new jersey politics. has been in again for generations. one of the stunning moments when cardwell was arrested because everyone thought -- card will have been perceived as someone who is always one step ahead of the law and he was arrested finally. it was a failing defense. even if solomon dwek is a bad guy, solomon dwek, i guess on the merits is a bad guy. >> is solomon dwek here tonight? [laughter] >> is a dwek in the room.
that's a question we always ask spent on that note, assuming solomon dwek -- >> if you are here, you to answer some questions. >> i want to thank you very much, and thank you all for listening and for participating. it's a very, very good read. i recommend it. >> thank you. [applause] >> with titles like slander, godless, guilty and her latest the modicum and cold has something to say. now sunday august 7, your chance to talk to, e-mail and tweak "the new york times" best selling author and syndicated columnist for three hours starting at noon eastern life on book tv on c-span2.
>> what are you reading this summer? booktv wants to know. >> let me mention one book that i just finished. it's an autobiography entitled infidel. a somalian born woman who was brought up in the war-torn area better, lived in several african and middle eastern countries. finally, escaped to holland, got political asylum there and became actually a member of parliament. she was involved in a real controversy based on a movie that she and another man produced about the harshness of islam and the way that is being
swept under the rug by western countries. this resulted in demanding assassinated in holland. and she was put under protective custody for some several weeks. the basic premise of the book is that, number one, the countries that she observed in africa and amenities are being held back by the religion of islam, particularly because of its harsh treatment of women and not allowing 50% of the population to reach their full potential. and also, that western countries such as holland, by accepting an extreme version of multiculturalism, are actually encouraging radical islam to take old and be a part of
western democracies. with their mistreatment of women. with her honor killings, with their female mutilation and things of that nature. and so she calls on western democracies to work toward better assimilation and integration of people who have immigrated for former muslim countries. >> tell us what you are reading this summer. send us a tweet at booktv. >> well, it was on july 18 this year that borders announced that it would be liquidating the rest of its stores. joining us by phone now from new york is sarah weinman, news editor of publishers marketplace. ms. weinman, what happened in the weeks leading up to july 18? it seem that borders was going to be resurrected or save. >> it did seem as if borders was
going to be saved. what happened is that najafi cos., which was a private equity company based out of i believe arizona, which owns direct brands, which had also owned what used to be known as book-of-the-month club. they put in a bid for approximately $215 million in assets and also would have us into an $20 million in liabilities. everything looked good right up until the beginning of this week when all of a sudden everything started to fall apart. creditors for borders had objected. they thought that najafi wasn't entirely forthcoming in the sense that they weren't absently sure that they would keep borders going as a going concern. so they were worried about this. and najafi couldn't exactly come out and say one way or the other. so depending on which vantage point you're looking at, either
najafi pulled out or that it was canceled, and ultimately borders elected to go with their backup plan, which was to go with the liquidators. in doing so, they avoided having to pay what's known as a breakup fee because if, let's say, another to do it come in who wasn't najafi, that bid would've had to pay i think about $6.4 million. this way because liquid is were coming in there was no breakup fee and it just sort of moved through the court system. and effect liquidation started today which is a friday. and was approved at 3 p.m. yesterday in bankruptcy court. >> so when you see liquidation started, sarah weinman, what does that mean? >> it means as of today going out of business sales are happening in as many as 399 stores. there is a caveat. in court yesterday, and i was there taking notes and writing about it, a latebreaking development took place where
books a million, which is the third largest book chain in the country, they put in an offer for 30 stores, 22 superstars and eight smaller stores, and the details were still being worked out as of today but the judge approved provisionally, it's just that creditors had some concerns and some of the parties as well, and to the best of my knowledge there are still working that out. which means that a good 369 stores are beginning to liquidation proceedings. by that it means that there is i believe 40% off sales, customers are borders award plus cards can use them, and other discounts up until about august 5. the cards are valid until the liquidation sales are finished. it means that landlords will be able to market those real estate properties to others, once all these stores close at the end of
september. inventory, they're trying to get everything sold off as quick as possible. they're trying to sell furniture. all the contracts that they had with various other companies, those are coming to an end. so it's over. >> and using the stores will be closing at the end of september. talk to us a little bit about the direct impact, how many employees? >> there are about 10,700 employees who are going to lose their jobs at this point. if the books a million thing comes through, that may lead to the retention of between 101,500 jobs, but that's still a very small amount of the overall number. of those 10,700 employees, about either proximally for thousand of them are full-time employees. those working on the ground in stores as well as those in borders michigan headquarters. that's a tremendous loss to the
overall economic climate, there's a lot good hard-working people who are now going to be thrown into an economic climate that is hardly credible at this point. it's very interesting to see there's been a grassroots campaign online by various people in the publishing community to try to connect borders employees are about to lose their jobs with other potential publishing and bookish type jobs that are available. what it's also doing is it's sort of shining a light on what's going on with independent bookselling. now, of course, independent bookstores are very greatly impacted by the riots a big box superstores like borders and barnes & noble's through the early 90s and 2000. so it will be very interesting to see what they'll be able to do, not just as borders retracts and closes up shop, as barnes &
noble transitions to more of a digital copy. and, of course, what's happened with respect to the explosion in e-book growth. >> sarah weinman, once the fiscal health of barnes & noble? >> barnes & noble is in an interesting spot right now. they have had record sales. but because they have spent so much money in terms of developing their nook e-reader line, in terms of their digital business, they have had to suspend their dividend for the last two quarters. and wall street has not entirely been happy about this. they've also been in the process of trying to sell themselves as of about a year ago, and in early may liberty media which is owned by don vallone which also owns various media properties, a put in a bid for about $17 a share. and that it is being considered. i believe the company is doing due diligence at this point, but it remains to be seen as to what the deal will close.
they are are terrible signs as to the loan and barnes & noble chairman who has spoken very highly of each other in the media. but at this point it's perhaps not up in the air but it's hardly a done deal. >> and finally, ms. weinman, tell us about publishers marketplace. and the people want to go to the website or follow you on twitter. >> sure. as you said at the top of the hour, on the news editor for publishers market place which owns publishers which reaches about 40,000 subscribers. you can find us at publishers and i am sarah weinman on twitter has. >> thank you for the update on borders spent my pleasure.
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